The Hautle’s – May 2021

May 2021
Dear praying friend,
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. Psalm 57:9
The Child Evangelism Fellowship® International Conference has just finished. It was a great time to connect with people digitally from around the world. One person wrote “I and my family are watching from a refugee camp in Uganda in the middle of the night.” Had we had a physical conference, they never would have been able to attend. Praise be to God for His provision!

We would appreciate your prayers during the next three weeks as Brent teaches an online course to students from nine different countries in five different time zones.

PRAISES

  • Praise God for an encouraging CEF International Conference, which took place digitally.
  • Praise God the new European promotional materials have been distributed.
  • Several men from church came to help with constructing an office in the basement. We are so very blessed by the work they did!

REQUESTS

  • For the course Brent is teaching May 10–28 via Zoom. Please pray for everyone’s internet connection, that it would be strong each day. Please pray too for all the equipment, that it will function well and not have any crashes or mishaps. Pray too for the interpreter, that she will not get weary interpreting for three hours each day. Finally, pray Brent will effectively equip these Multimedia students from around the world, that the ministry that have will result in many more children reading or hearing the Gospel in their heart language.
  • We are very close to finishing the construction of the office! Pray we can finish it quickly.
  • We are preparing for Brent’s parents’ move a few blocks from us either the end of May or beginning of June. Pray for all the preparations we have, for the sale of their house and loading of the truck, safety in their trip and a good closing and unloading.
  • June 19–24 we are taking part in CEF of Pennsylvania’s Christian Youth in Action® training school. Please pray we will be a blessing to the teens and staff!
Thank you! We greatly covet your prayers!

Brent, Jen, Amy & Christopher

Tom & Leslie Johnson News – May 2021

Refugee Special Request Update

Thank you to the many who responded so quickly to our request to help our refugee friends! The story is developing. I (Tom) had started the process of helping them move in two directions. One of those options has closed. The other has continued to move forward. A new Christian ministry in another country is managing much of the paperwork, and a church in another city of that country, one which has extensive experience receiving refugees, has agreed to host this family, if we can get them there and arrange the needed financial support.

Because we now know the destination city, we have a more accurate budget estimate. That is $27,000 (USD), a little more than our earlier number. Our church office reports they have already received $15,650 toward the budget, almost 60%. We are grateful for your wonderful response!

A big thank you to all who donated so far.

I am grieved that I cannot do anything to help the millions of Christians who are refugees, but maybe, with God’s grace, this family can get a new start.

Because this budget is not appropriate for Global Scholars, our church in North Carolina is overseeing donations. If you can send a donation within the US, please send a check to:

Cross Creek Presbyterian Church
430 S McPherson Church Rd,
Fayetteville, NC 28303

You should mention in a note “Refugee Ministry.”  If you feel comfortable doing so, please send an email to Tom, so he knows about funds coming. His email is johnson.thomas.k@gmail.com

If you cannot send a US check, write to Tom or Leslie to arrange donations. Several friends sent donations in other ways; we have transferred those funds to our church.

Please pray for the people doing the paperwork in the receiving country, that God give them endurance and precision. Pray for the refugee family; I know the dad gets overwhelmed when he thinks about getting sent home to a Muslim-extremist country to be executed because he believed in Christ.

First Joint Book

Our Humanitarian Islam/WEA religious freedom joint working group is in the final stages of our first joint book. The book should be published in Indonesia in a few weeks to celebrate some special events in Jakarta. I wrote two chapters of the book. This project is a demonstration that some Christians and some Muslims can work together to promote religious freedom. Our hope is that projects of this type can slowly convince more Muslims to embrace freedom of religion, since so much persecution of Christians originates in Muslim extremism.

Leslie’s Update

ACSI
My ACSI Europe colleagues and I have started looking forward to the Student Leadership Conference held in September each year. We are praying it can be face-to-face this year and are planning accordingly. Last year’s was online. Europe is starting to open up now, so we are hopeful. Please pray for wisdom as we work out the details.

I have started work on revamping my series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.” Pray for me to have wisdom to make this helpful for teachers so that children grow in their cultural sensitivity.

ICCM Cohort
I continue to grow and learn as I study and meet with my cohort, sub-cohort, and mentor. Pray for me to manage time well so I can continue to delve into books and webinars about topics of cultural sensitivity. (I am sure you can see the connection between my cohort and ACSI work right now.  🙂

An Undefined Process (by Tom)

For the last few months I have been participating in Zoom meetings with an informal group of Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant leaders and scholars to talk about the genocide unrolling in the western Sahel. Many of the victims are Christians in Nigeria and neighboring countries. The participants in this group agree that any real solutions will have to be partly independent of governments. Please pray that God would give this group good ideas. Many of these people met at US State Department meetings on religious freedom; now we meet both with and without the State Dept. Our hope is that leaders of ISIS and Boko Haram would meet with Muslim leaders from other countries to be held accountable according to Muslim teachings. This might stop the bloodshed, and we cannot be sure it is impossible until we try.

Praises:
We thank the Lord for:

  • Fantastic progress in helping the refugee family!
  • Tom’s opportunity to coordinate a team of Evangelicals and Indonesian Muslims.
  • Opportunities for Tom to advise the State Department.
  • Leslie’s opportunity to continue working with her ACSI EU and Global colleagues to strengthen Christian teachers, administrators, and schools.
  • Leslie’s opportunity to study theology and intercultural competence to contextualize her training and experience to the US setting.

Prayers:

Please join us in praying for:

  • For the Lord’s purposes for COVID-19 to be accomplished around the world and that he would end it. Soon. Lord willing, by the end of 2021.
  • Creative ideas to help persecuted Christians around the world and safe places for them to go.
  • Leslie’s work with ACSI Europe as the team plans the Student Leadership Conference for September 2021.
  • Continued wisdom for Tom as he (on behalf of the WEA) engages the world’s largest Muslim group about religious freedom. They are working on a jointly authored book.
  • Wise next steps for WEA-Vatican relations.
  • Tom as he considers which books to write next.
  • Wisdom for Leslie as she develops her series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.”
  • For Christians around the world to be strengthened to serve God and others in their communities, whether those “others” are different in beliefs, color of skin, nationalities, etc.
  • The refugee family who will need tremendous courage to face huge challenges in their up-coming transition. Pray for protection from discouragement.

Thank you for your faithful prayer for us as well as your financial gifts that allow us to do the work He has called us to.

 

News from the Lenz Family – May 2021

Ethnos360 Logo 2tags black

Have you ever realized how Waiting on the Lord actually involves waiting. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known make some kind of statement to the effect that I’m waiting on God, meanwhile, I try to run ahead of him. My kind of waiting on God can like when we walk with our dog Socks back in Papua New Guinea. Socks will run ahead quite a ways and then turn and look back at us as if to say hurry and catch up with me so I know I’m headed the right direction. Sometimes we will go down a different pathway off the main road and Socks will come tearing back down the road, turn down the path we took, and blast ahead of us. If I’m honest, I’m guilty of waiting on God like this at times.

We’re a year overdue to return to Papua New Guinea and be boots on the ground in the ministry there. We haven’t seen our co-workers in 2 years and they’ll be headed back to their home country for home assignment later this month (Lord willing). One or two of their kids will be left home this time around and we’ll not see them again for quite some time—if ever. We desire to see our friends in the Wahgi church.

As our tentative departure time draws nearer, we are brought to a point where we have to wait on the Lord…and I mean actually wait. I, Levi, have recently been diagnosed with a type of supraventricular tachycardia which also brings along with it its friend atrial fibrillation. The good news is that they found out I do have a heart! On Tuesday, May 18, I will be having a cardiac ablation to try and correct the problem that is causing this. Our doctors in PNG want me to wait until two months after this procedure before attempting to return to PNG. We are praying and hoping that we can get back at the end of July so that our kids can start the school year there with their classmates.

On top of my heart issue, Robyn just recently saw an Ear Nose Throat doctor and found out that she has growths on her vocal cords which leaves her with a weak voice and constant feeling of laryngitis. This has been going on for a couple years and, until recently, we thought it was just allergies. Robyn will be going to a specialist on Wednesday to see what the next steps are for her.

We would appreciate your prayers for these health concerns and that we’d wait on the Lord the way he wants us to, not like Socks.

At His Service and For His Glory,

Levi & Robyn Lenz

Serving the North Wahgi people

of Papua New Guinea

Ethnos360.org/levi-robyn-lenz

Facebook: Lenz’s View

News from the Fields – Ethnos 360

Covid restrictions are over around here!

What is different?

  1. We are allowed to have groups in our home!! This weekend we had a group over for a hot dog supper and game night and fire and its all back to normal!! Thank you Lord!
  2. We as staff are once again invited to eat with the students in the dining hall! This is a big deal as mealtimes are a huge opportunity to build relationships!! Thank you Lord!!
  3. We on the mobilization department were given the green light to host a whole day to a group of 20 perspective students! This day includes a tour, time with staff in their homes, sitting in on classes, eating in the dining hall and going out for coffee downtown. This is our very first opportunity for a group event for this whole year! Thank you Lord!
  4. The students are now allowed to have group events. There are only 3 weeks left in the semester, and I bet they probably have one event per day planned to catch up after a whole year. 🙂 Today I went to a baby shower in a room full of people without masks and we got to really visit. Thank you Lord!!
  5. Masks are off and now Dave gets to see which faces go with which voices in his classroom:) Thank you Lord!
    The sky is blue, the grass is green, the plum trees are white with flowers, and the students are all around and quite upbeat.

    Oh, by the way another 2 praises…Clark just turned 18 and Reece just turned 22, and both of our sons are walking with the Lord and trusting Him. Thank you Lord!!

    Just wanted to let you know how we are all doing here at Bible School.
    Praising the Lord for always being good, and always carrying us in our storms,
    Dave, Kim, Reece & Clark Field

Tom and Leslie Johnson – Global Scholars, March 2021

News from Tom and Leslie Johnson

Special Request

We would like your help with an unusual need. Last year, before the virus interrupted international travel, I (Tom) visited a refugee center in another country to interview a family who had converted to Christianity from Islam. They were fleeing for their lives because of a realistic possibility they would be forced to return to their country of origin to be executed for apostacy. Since then, I have been looking for a place for them to go. It looks like a door has just opened for them in another country, where they could move legally and start back into the normal things Christian families like to do: jobs, home, church, school, friends, hobbies, etc.

We just started a budget for their transition. The current estimate is about $23,000 (USD). This is budget is not appropriate for Global Scholars, but the deacons of our church in North Carolina have offered to oversee donations.

Please pray for this family, and please consider making a donation to support their transition. We hope to send you info on how to make donations within several days.

New Books

Several nights ago, I was exhausted after a Zoom went late into the evening, but I was tremendously grateful to have heard in person, from a top Indonesian Muslim thinker, the painful process their team went through when they assessed the atrocities committed by ISIS against Christians in 2014. A technician had assembled 90 minutes of video filmed by ISIS while they were proudly committing crimes against humanity. All the Indonesian Muslims watching the film understood Arabic; and they were sickened by what had become of their religion. Some screamed aloud in anguish during the showing. It is these people about whom I wrote my recent book, Humanitarian Islam, Evangelical Christianity, and the Clash of Civilizations. (Click for a free download.)

As soon as this book was released online, I sent a PDF of the book, which includes long explanations of important themes in Protestant theology and ethics, to our Muslim counterparts. Some of them read it almost immediately; within a few days after publication, they thanked me for describing them and their views accurately. They are accustomed to inaccurate or even slanderous descriptions of Islam coming from Christians.

With my permission they placed my book on their website, along with a very nice communique. They wrote, “The world’s largest Protestant organization has endorsed the Humanitarian Islam movement as an essential vehicle for peacefully and definitively resolving ‘the Muslim-Christian clash of civilizations, which started almost 1,500 years ago. ‘On the day that Pope Francis commenced an historic papal visit to Iraq — which included a meeting with the world’s preeminent Shi‘ite spiritual leader and a tour of Mosul, until recently a stronghold of the defeated ISIS caliphate — the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Theological Commission published Humanitarian Islam, Evangelical Christianity, and the Clash of Civilizations.” Until very recently I could not have imagined that the world’s largest Muslim organization would promote a book by a Protestant theologian. PTL!

In February 1994, Leslie and I, with our three children, moved to the former Soviet Union, where I was beginning work as a visiting professor of philosophy at a dissident university. Soon I was lecturing on human rights in my classes, as well as for conferences of professors. This forced me to dive more deeply into our theological and philosophical foundations. This deep dive led to a number of books, and recently my third book on the topic of human rights theory was published. For the cover, Leslie suggested a picture of the people standing on the Berlin Wall at the end of communism. I was very pleased that a Muslim scholar wrote a foreword, and a Czech Protestant theologian wrote an appendix about my theory of human rights. The Theological Commission of the WEA has made this book available as a free download on our websites, available here.

My work representing the WEA in religious freedom efforts of the US State Department is continuing. I do not know if the change at the White House will have a large influence. This means that I am participating in Zoom meetings with religious leaders and diplomats from several countries. Sometimes I can give a speech. Two such speeches are available online: Understanding Religious Persecution and Religious Communities as Good Neighbors.

Leslie’s Update

February and March have been busy months and the rest of the Spring looks to be full.

ACSI
In early March, I was a part of the ACSI Europe team that helped put on a virtual conference in partnership with ECCEN (European Conference for Christian Education in the Netherlands). The bi-annual conference is called the International Educational Leadership Conference and seeks to support and strengthen Christian school leaders. There were 272 people from 46 different countries who joined us in the conference. The Lord be praised!

Now our ACSI Europe colleagues will start looking forward to the Student Leadership Conference held in September each year. We are praying it can be face-to-face this year. Last year’s was online. Europe is currently quite locked down, so we just do not know at this point.
In April, I will be leading an accreditation team for a “virtual” accreditation “visit” of a Christian international school. It is a lot of work for the school and the team, but it strengthens the school and the visiting team members learn a lot. Pray I have wisdom as I help the team and school navigate through a virtual visit.

After that accreditation, I will return to my series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.” I have been asked to develop an online version of it for ACSI’s Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) that is entirely online now. Pray for me to have wisdom to make this helpful for teachers so that children grow in their cultural sensitivity.

ICCM Cohort
I am still learning and growing through a cohort connected with the Institute of Cross-Cultural Mission (ICCM). Even as I write this, I am involved in a “virtual” retreat. It has been a great experience studying and growing in three pillar areas: theology of unity and diversity, intercultural competence, and leadership competence. Pray for me to manage time well so I can continue to delve into books and webinars about these topics.

Praises

We thank the Lord for:

  • Tom’s opportunity to coordinate a team of Evangelicals and Indonesian Muslims.
  • Opportunities for Tom to advise the State Department.
  • Leslie’s opportunity to continue working with her ACSI EU and Global colleagues to strengthen Christian teachers, administrators, and schools.
  • Leslie’s opportunity to study theology and intercultural competence to contextualize her training and experience to the US setting.
  • Students being taught and discipled in Christian schools around the world, even when school has been online.
  • Tom and Leslie have both received both Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations, as have Aimee and her husband (with whom we live).

Prayers

Please join us in praying for:

  • For the Lord’s purposes for COVID-19 to be accomplished around the world and that he would end it. Soon. Lord willing, by the end of 2021.
  • Creative ideas to help persecuted Christians around the world and safe places for them to go.
  • Our work from home to be encouraging and helpful locally and from afar.
  • Continued wisdom for Tom as he (on behalf of the WEA) engages the world’s largest Muslim group about religious freedom. They are working on a jointly authored book.
  • Wise next steps for WEA-Vatican relations.
  • Tom as he considers which books to write next.
  • Wisdom for Leslie as she develops her series of workshops on “Teaching with Cultural Intelligence.”
  • ACSI Europe and ACSI Global to have an impact through conferences for administrators, teachers, and students around the world whose education has suffered because of COVID-19 and virtual learning.
  • For Christians around the world to be strengthened to serve God and others in their communities, whether those “others” are different in beliefs, color of skin, nationalities, etc.
  • Specifically, for Spring 2021: The refugee family in our lives will need tremendous courage to face huge challenges. They report feeling overwhelmed with discouragement.

Thank you for your faithful prayer for us as well as your financial gifts that allow us to do the work He has called us to.